Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Peninsula, are you a land mass surrounded on 3 sides by water? or a really great local eating establishment?

Peninsula Malaysian Cuisine
2608 Nicollet Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55408

If you live in Minneapolis you've been to Eat Street or at least driven down it, but if you have not seized the opportunity to stop I suggest your first stop be Peninsula. With its grand opening less than three years in the past Peninsula has already made a name for itself. Great food, a huge menu, drinks, decor, and open kitchen...oh! and I noticed they got their liquor license (for actual liquor not just wine and beer), woo hoo!

Roti Canai $3.95
According to the menu this is an all time Malaysian favorite. It is a large folded Indian style pancake. Crispy edges, soft middle. Enough to share. Served with a spicy curry chicken and potato dipping sauce. The pancake starts as a small round of dough which is then stretched and fried on hot griddle. Great to share between 2 or 3 people.

Pasembur $7.95
Don't let the "hot and spicy" warning scare you off. The dish is not all that hot, but it has a lot of flavor. Fried shimp pancakes, tofu and sliced hard boiled eggs sit on top of a salad which consists of shredded cucumber, jicama and bean sprouts. The dish is then covered with a sweet and spicy tomato based sauce. The pancakes and vegetable salad are crispy, the tofu and eggs are soft and the sauce is creamy. There are a lot of textural elements and layers of flavor.

Seafood Lemon Grass (Tom Yum) soup $8.95 (For the Sister)
Shrimp, squid (although Sharon opt for no squid), scallops and vegetables in a spicy and sour chicken broth. This is a huge portion and definitely could be shared. The broth is very mild, a little seafoody flavor, but it does have a spicy kick at the end so be careful. I love seafood and straw mushrooms (one of the veg in this soup) so I thought it was great. Very light, but still filling and a good meal.

Beef Brisket Curry Noodle Soup $7.95 (Mine)
Tender beef brisket stewed in a spicy coconut curry served over egg noodles and bean sprouts. Not too spicy, but really flavorful. Sweet from the coconut milk and savory from the beef. Don't be expecting something lean here. The beef is tender and they leave the fatty skin on. The curry is thick and creamy and is served in a huge bowl. This could definitely be shared. I would have liked it to be more spicy.

Fried Rice Noodles with Salted Fish $10.95 (For the Mum)
For the noodle lover. Thin rice noodle stir-fried with salted fish, chicken, shrimp, bean sprouts, eggs and green onions. If you're on a low sodium diet you might want to be careful with this one. The salty taste is not overpowering, but there is definitely some salt going on in this dish. My Mom said she felt a little puffy the last time she had this, but it was so good she had to do it again. I would define this dish as a comfort food, very satisfying.

Indian Mee Goreng $8.95 (For the Dad)
The menu says thing is a Indian style stir-fry that includes yellow noodles with tofu, potatoes, shrimp and bean sprouts. It is tossed with a spicy squid sauce and topped with crushed peanuts. Again, a great noodle-comfort dish, but this one is a little different. Although the noodles are 'yellow' they won't look that way when you get the dish. Because of the squid sauce this color of this dish is a deep brown, almost black color. The flavor is unique, sweet, bitter, and spicy. If you enjoy noodles, but are a little more adventurous try the Indian Mee Goreng.

Malaysian Lo Mee $8.95 (Mr. B)
Fresh egg noodles tossed with a house soy sauce. Served with stir-fried chicken, mushroom, and other vegetables. Although delicious, I would have gone with something a little more adventurous. This is like a lomein, but not like food court brand so it's still a step up. The noodles are similar to ramen, the sauce is dark and thin, but it has a good flavor. If you like simple noodle dishes this would work for you.

# of People: 5
Reservations: No, we didn't make reservations, but you can! They have a large dining area, but on a weekend evening it might not hurt.
Day/Time of Visit: Monday, January 19th - 11:30am
Will I be back: Yes! What I have tried has been great and I have yet to tackle their huge menu. I will always go back for their chicken and potato curry.
YAYs!: Wide variety on their menu. Good portion size and reasonable prices. Fun atmosphere with the open kitchen.
Nays: Parking can sometime be difficult. Also, if you want something spicy ask for it that way, sometimes I think they might tone it down. Also, the last time I was there I had a bubble tea and the tapioca pearls were not cooked enough, kind of crunchy so I probably won't do that again.
Notes: There is a small free parking lot in the back otherwise during the dinner hours there is a free lot across the street.


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